Root vs. Safeway: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

So, you're in the market for a new insurance policy. You may have even narrowed down your search to Root and Safeway. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which carrier has the best prices and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Root offers significantly less expensive rates than Safeway
  • Root has cheaper premiums for drivers who have below-average credit
  • Safeway may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Root Insurance

Root or Safeway: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you in the market for a new insurance policy? After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering large savings. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You've maybe even narrowed your search down to Root or Safeway for your next policy, but between the two, which company will offer you more affordable rates?

Root Safeway

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, Safeway is quite a bit more expensive than Root, with prices averaging $194 a month compared to just $65 with Root.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean Root will be the less expensive option for every single driver. After all, car insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like your age, your driving record, your credit score, or even where you call home (among other things), so premiums will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Wanting to know if Root or Safeway is really the right company for you? Keep on reading to see how average rates can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

Root vs. Safeway: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Root Safeway

Root and Safeway only compete against each other in Arizona, where Root offers the cheaper average premiums. Undefined drivers tend to pay about undefined per month less on average compared to drivers who use undefined for their auto insurance.

There are plenty of other factors that go into your insurance bill than just where you live. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Root Safeway
18-year-old drivers$136$455
25-year-old drivers$52$179

Young drivers -- especially teens -- typically pay a lot for car insurance compared to older drivers. That's usually because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in a car insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

Even so, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high insurance prices. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Root for their auto insurance pay over 70% less than those who use Safeway.

That being said, both carriers will drop premiums by the time you turn 25. For example, average prices for Root policyholders decrease around $85 and Safeway's rates lower almost $300 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Root Safeway
65+-year-old drivers$57$136

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the lowest premiums you'll ever see.

So, which carrier offers the best prices to retired drivers? Root gets the edge, with rates for drivers 65 and older nearly 60% more affordable than the national average for Safeway.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Root Safeway

Did you know that auto insurance prices are normally cheaper for married drivers than they are for single policyholders? That's because policies for married couples generally cover more than one vehicle, which a lot of companies will give you a discount for.

For those who are single, the difference in average rates between these two carriers is significant, with Root premiums coming in at about a third of Safeway's. The advantage for married policyholders with Root is also obvious, where drivers save almost 65% a month.

Root or Safeway: Average Rates by Gender

Root Safeway

Men are statistically more likely than women to get speeding tickets and get into collisions, which means they'll typically end up paying more for insurance than women.

Men normally pay around $2 per month more than women with Root, and about $18 more with Safeway.

When it comes to the most affordable prices for each gender, Root offers the cheapest average rates for both men and women, with average premiums 67% less for men and 65% cheaper for women.

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Root vs. Safeway: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Root Safeway
State Minimum*$46$130
Full Coverage**$84$258

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

It's no secret that car insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are so many different limits and terms that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability coverage (that covers property damage and bodily injury for other drivers and their passengers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which usually refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability insurance, Root has the significant edge, with average monthly prices coming in at $46. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Root again has the edge, with policies averaging around $84 a month to Safeway's $258.

Is Root or Safeway Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their insurance. But that's not to say you can't save money if you don't have the best driving record, either.

It's no secret secret that speeding tickets and collisions lead to higher premiums, but which company -- Root or Safeway -- has the lowest rates for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Root Safeway
Clean Record$57$163
1 Speeding Ticket$67$170

Policyholders who use Root for their car insurance can generally expect their monthly bill to go up about 15% after getting a speeding ticket. Safeway policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of around 4%.

But Root tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record. With Root Insurance, drivers with a clean record can save about $106 per month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save around $103 a month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Root Safeway
Clean Record$57$163
1 At-Fault Accident$79$223

Both companies will raise premiums pretty significantly if you get into an at-fault collision with Safeway raising by about 27%. Root has a less extreme climb, but you can still expect to pay nearly 30% more than you were prior to your first accident.

At the end of the day, drivers who use Root end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average prices coming in at $79 compared to Safeway Insurance's $223.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Root Safeway
Clean Record$57$163
1 DUI$57$220

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even an accident. Safeway drivers usually see a 26% raise in their auto insurance rates after a DUI charge, while Root will typically climb premiums by around 0%.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable prices, Root tends to be more affordable for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at about $57 to Safeway's $220.

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How does Credit Score Impact Root and Safeway Rates?

Did you know many car insurance carriers take into account your credit score when determining rates? This isn't true for everyone (for example, Michigan and Hawaii are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it might come into play for lots of drivers.

The reasoning insurance companies use is that policyholders with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so generally, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with less expensive prices.

Looking at Root and Safeway specifically, which carrier has the most affordable premiums for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Root Safeway
Excellent Credit Score$54$194
Good Credit Score$60$194

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Root Safeway
Fair Credit Score$66$194
Poor Credit Score$79$194

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Is Root or Safeway Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Root Safeway
6,000 Annual Miles$65$194
12,000 Annual Miles$65$194

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a pretty big impact on how much auto insurance carriers will charge for coverage? That's because the more milage you drive, the more likely you are to be in a collision and file an insurance claim.

In this case, neither Root or Safeway report increasing rates for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. Even so, Root comes out as the cheapest for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their car annually, with average premiums of $65 per month for both.

Root or Safeway: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you park your vehicle can have a sizable impact on your monthly car insurance cost. Normally, policyholders who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban drivers due to the small number of cars that are on the roads where they live.

Root Safeway
Urban Areas$77$234
Suburban Areas$60$201
Rural Areas$58$146

Root tends to offer the lowest prices for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Root Insurance's average rates are around 67% less than Safeway Insurance. People who live in suburban areas pay about 70% less with Root compared to Safeway. Those in rural areas can expect to save around 60% with Root compared to Safeway.

Root vs. Safeway Discounts

You want to save as much money as you can, right? The best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as possible.

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem difficult to find all the of the ones you can take advantage of.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and compared all of the different discounts offered by Root and Safeway so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Root Safeway
Agency Transfer Discount 
Auto-Steer Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount 
Full Coverage Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Paperless Discount 
Punitive Damage Exclusion Discount 
Renewal Discount 
Vin Etching Discount 

Safeway knocks Root out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 11 different discounts to Root's 11.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like discounts for being a homeowner and paid in full discounts. Safeway also offers discounts for agency transfer, defensive driver, full coverage, and more.

On the other hand, Root has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like auto-steer discounts, good driving discounts, and paperless discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Root or Safeway Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your insurance premiums. We've shown you all the discounts each company offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the best carrier for you and your specific needs?

Root might be best for you if....

  • You've been pulled over for speeding recently.
  • You have above-average credit.
  • You want to save money while purchasing auto insurance for a teenager.

Safeway might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for discounts -- Safeway has the most.

Hopefully, this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Root and Safeway and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your insurance.

At the end of the day, the sure-fire way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from several companies, not just Root and Safeway. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of top auto insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Root vs. Safeway FAQs

Is Root or Safeway cheaper?

Root is the cheaper of the two companies when looking at national average rates, with policies averaging $65 a month with Root and $194 for Safeway. That being said, that doesn't mean Root will be the cheapest company for each driver, since there are a variety of different factors that are considered when it comes to your insurance payment.

Who is better, Root or Safeway?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". No single carrier is "better" for every policyholder -- it all comes down to what your unique car insurance profile looks like.

Why do Root and Safeway offer me different rates?

Insurance carriers use quite a few different variables when calculating the prices they charge. Things like gender, your driving record, age, where your home is, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Root and Safeway calculate premiums differently, so it's likely they'll offer different rates. The best way to determine which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different companies.

How do I know if Root or Safeway is right for me?

The only way to find the car insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top auto insurance companies for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best price. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Root or Safeway at all, but another you hadn't even thought of!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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